Tornado takes heavy toll of life, property in 1919

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Editor’s Note: The following was an article published in the April 11, 1919, Canton Herald regarding a tornado that went through Van Zandt County. The path of the tornado was similar to that of the April 29, 2017, tornadoes.

A destructive storm passed about five miles south of Canton around 4 a.m. Wednesday resulting in a number of deaths and damaging residences and property.

At press time, the number of fatalities reached 10 in Van Zandt County and the number may continue to rise.

The tornado entered the county near the southwest corner passing about three miles northwest of Eustace and then moved entirely through the county in a northeasterly direction before leaving the county a few miles southeast of Grand Saline.

A Canton physician said Wednesday night that during his visits to the injured that he counted 30 houses that were either totally destroyed or so badly demolished that they could not be repaired.

It is estimated that 50-60 houses were destroyed in the county and the property damage was estimated to be in the neighborhood of $100,000.

The tornado took its greatest toll of human life in the Tundra Community where Ubert Burns and four sons, ages three weeks to 12 years old, were killed. Mrs. Burns and a 2-year old daughter were critically injured.

Before the storm struck, 11 people in the Minks household nearby sought shelter in an old log house near the Burns’ residence.

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